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E-Reader Project Reaches Portuguese-Speaking Countries in Africa

Marcie Smeck
November 18, 2014

Adriano Quelende
The Rev. Adriano Quelende, center, distributing e-readers to United Methodist theological students in Africa.

The E-Reader Project recently got a boost through obtaining Portuguese content for e-readers for theological schools in Angola and Mozambique. Adriano Quelende, director of Global Formation for Spiritual Leaders at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, recently visited the annual conferences of Angola East and West as well as Mozambique North and South annual conferences and acquired additional theological content for the Portuguese e-readers.

In each area, Quelende visited schools of theology to deliver a few e-readers and showed librarians, teachers, and students how to use the e-readers. Quelende and staff of Discipleship Ministries will return to these areas in 2015 to deliver more e-readers and to provide complete training.

The GBHEM and Discipleship Ministries are continuing to grow the E-Reader Project, a simple way to help theology schools in remote areas have access to current textbooks and reference books. 

Quelende, a West Angola native, also met with bishops, theology school deans, pastors and students in each annual conference to hear their ideas about additional theological content and the growth of the project.

Adriano Quelende

In Angola West annual conference area, Quelende met with the Rev. Kalumba Alfredo, general secretary of the Angola Bible Society. The Bible Society was impressed with the project and offered over 500 Portuguese books, in digital format, to be loaded on the e-readers.

Portuguese content continues to be added to the e-readers, with the help of the Methodist Theology School in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Dr. Paulo Garcia has pledged wholehearted support and has donated numerous texts to the project. The e-reader currently includes ebooks on Christian education, evangelism, preaching, counseling, church leadership, United Methodist worship and Wesleyan theology.

“The e-reader project will help our churches in Africa have better prepared pastors,” said Quelende. “GBHEM and Discipleship Ministries are making an investment in the intellectual formation of pastors in Africa. With better prepared pastors we will have better church for sure.”

In Mozambique, Bishop Joaquina Nhanala was happy to hear about the project and encouraged GBHEM and Discipleship Ministries to continue to expand the reach. “This project comes in the right time for pastors in rural areas who are serving churches with only a Bible. The e-reader, loaded with many books, offers hope for them.”

Quelende found that many people on the continent of Africa are excited about the project. “The e-reader project will revolutionize theological education in Africa,” he said. “Students and staff had great ideas for additional content.” Some suggested more books about the history of Methodism, Bibles in different African languages, hymnals, The Book of Discipline and books with United Methodist liturgy.

In addition to GBHEM and Discipleship Ministries, funding for the E-Reader Project comes from annual conferences, local churches, individual donors, universities and from the students themselves through a student fee each semester, which helps offset the price of the e-reader and its content. To learn more or donate online, visit

Smeck is interim director, Office of Communications, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.